When we last left off, my mother had become so manic that she’d thrown all her psych medications in the trash, professing that she doesn’t need them anymore. In fact, she’s going to dump her psychopharmacologist and use her friend’s therapist who only uses talk therapy. (eyeball roll)
At this moment in time, the fabric of her mental capacity has been stretched so thin that it’s beginning to tear. Her grasp of reality is slipping. She is confused. She is delusional. When this manifests into what seem to be real and solid reasons why it’s ok to not wash her hair for five weeks (she has assured me that she has showered, but not needed to wash her hair), it’s mildly disturbing, but not dangerous.
When she offers my grandmother’s fine china to a cousin’s wife, it might seem inappropriate to me, but not dangerous for Mom. When she calls me to let me know that another cousin’s husband has died, and he hasn’t (although, he is very unwell), it’s embarrassing- considering I posted on Facebook about his passing- but not dangerous for Mom. When she bounces a check and is incensed to have to pay a fee (after all, it was the check to pay for her husband’s funeral- the nerve of them for charging a fee), it’s inconvenient, but not dangerous. A person can only be involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital if they are a danger to themselves or to someone else. So, if a person becomes suicidal, they can be committed. But if they are so high that they are insane, the ability to help someone who thinks they are just fine, drops to zero.
In her confusion, Mom has lied to both me and her therapist about still taking one psych medication; when her caregiver reported to me that ALL prescription medications had been dumped into the trash. So, now the question still remains: did she also dump her prescription cholesterol medication and another one that is to help reduce swelling in her feet? I can’t ask her outright because she’s so confused, she’ll just tell me what she thinks I want to hear.
As the fabric that makes up Mom’s reality continues to tear, it will eventually separate into a psychotic break. The last time she went there, she spouted a load of crap, including that my father was trying to kill her, and had done so a number of times. The thing is, you can’t be committed just for completely losing touch with reality and alienating everyone who knows you. You can’t be committed for calling your sister-in-law and accusing her of killing her husband, or calling a friend and accusing her of killing her husband. You can’t be committed for turning to alcohol and becoming drunk on a regular basis, as long as you are not driving drunk.
And a person can not be forcibly committed to a mental hospital when they have had a grade A breakdown, a complete and total break with sanity and reality, and have entered psychosis and paranoia. This is the point where we have to try to reason with the unreasonable. We have to try to convince Mom that she’s not doing as well as she feels (she feels great!!), and suggest that she might want to spend a few days at the local funny farm. Good luck!
Now, all we can do is monitor and wait.